Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

IT Strategy Consulting conference, Toronto

Consistent with IBM’s direction on innovation, the Global (IT) Technology Strategy community of IBM Global Business Services held a two-day even in the Toronto area. After four months of planning, about 120 IBMers convened at the Toronto Lab at 8200 Warden (actually in Markham). Although this internal conference was named the “IT Strategy Master Class”, it was in fact a pilot for a series of IBM events.

The theme of “Business Innovation through IT Strategy” brought together IBM consultants from Canada, the United States, Europe (UK, Netherlands, Germany) and Asia (Japan, China). The approach was not to “invent” a program, but, in the belief that innovation occurs by practitioners at work within a community, request content from practitioners that they themselves believe is exciting and leading edge. From over 100 submissions, 20 breakout sessions were selected. Wrapped around the breakouts were some keynote speakers that provided big picture insight.

As one of the breakout speakers, I gave a talk on “Business Ecosystem Innovation” content in joint development with Greg Lowes and Simon Kalechstein. I was a last minute substitute to speak on SSME (Services Science, Management and Engineering). I sat in on Greg’s talk on Governance, that includes some content contrasting governance and management.

Attendees seemed to universally give great reviews of the results. Looking forward, similar internal versions of the conference are in negotiation for Europe (maybe in the UK or Germany, in late June) and in Asia (maybe September). Of broader interest will likely be the external versions of the conference, where 50 to 60 customer CIOs will be invited to IBM labs at Hawthorne, Zurich and Beijing. With greater visibility is likely to come additional press.

2 Comments

  • Great conference. Does anyone have more information on the 2×2 matrix?

    Caswellsmith.com
    Strategy consulting

  • Natalie, I’ve looked up the original slide, and here’s the content,
    with the reference:  Architecture as Strategy:
    Creating a Foundation for Business Execution
    , J. Ross, P.
    Weill, D. Robertson, HBS Press, July 2006.

    Business Process Integration High Coordination

    • Unique business units with a need to know each other’s transactions
    • Examples:  Merrill Lynch, Toyota Motor Marketing Europe, MetLife
    • Key IT capability: access to shared data, through standard technology interfaces
    Unification

    • Single business with global process standards and global data access
    • Examples: Delta Air Lines, Dow Chemical, Pepsi Americas
    • Key IT capability: enterprise systems reinforcing standard processes and providing global data access
    Low Diversification

    • Independent business units with different customers and expertise
    • Examples: Johnson & Johnson, Carlson Companies, GE
    • Key IT capability: provide economies of scale without limiting independence
    Replication

    • Independent but similar business units
    • Examples: Marriott, CEMEX, ING DIRECT
    • Key IT capability: provide standard infrastructure and application components for global efficiencies
    Low High
    Business Process Standardization

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